#1 Excerpts – Delusion angel

Daydream delusion, limousine eyelash
Oh baby with your pretty face
Drop a tear in my wineglass
Look at those big eyes
See what you mean to me
Sweet-cakes and milkshakes
I’m a delusion angel
I’m a fantasy parade
I want you to know what I think
Don’t want you to guess anymore
You have no idea where I came from
We have no idea where we’re going
Lodged in life
Like branches in a river
Flowing downstream
Caught in the current
I carry you, you’ll carry me
That’s how it could be…
Don’t you know me..?
Don’t you know me by now?

Street poet: Instead of asking you for money, I’ll ask you for a word. You give me a word and I make a poem, with the word in it. And if it adds something to your life, you can pay me whatever you want.

Celine: Milkshake

(From Before Sunrise, Dir. Richard Linklater)

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#5 Write up – My last relationship (2012)

December always derives the best out of you. It is not just any other month. It is different! Not just in a singular way but by many if not all means.

 

The jackets, which cost you a little fortune come into play.

 

You have those starry nights to accompany you.

 

And you start getting the pure but rare satisfaction of optimising something! Your calendar!

 

I mean don’t you feel overly proud of yourself when you realise that you’ve had a yearlong relationship with the calendar?

 

The calendar! It keeps dangling on the wall all the time. Except the times you choose to take it off and flip it over. Probably just… 11 times every year? When you think of it that way, a year sounds so… quick! We keep thinking that it was just yesterday when we had an awesome New Years party till the time we realise that the next New Years party is, ‘Ow, tomorrow!’

 

We measure length in inches, mass in ounces, universe in lightyears and our life in calendars. Suppose I collect each and every day of my life that I’ve lived. Ummm… It will be a collection of say, 20 calendars. That’s all. All of my life summarised without even missing a day! I know on which day I had a holiday, when was the first lunar eclipse of my life, low tide, high tide and all sorts of pieces which when put together form my life. Voila! My biography is published!

 

Till now, I have stockpiled 20 calendars. How many more can I possibly accumulate? Forty calendars? Sixty calendars? Eighty, max? And then that’s all! It becomes all so scary you know. Like so fast! Like all of these ups and downs and twists and turns and someday, all that it turns out to be, is a bunch of calendars. All that I’ve earned, all that I have spent… Is This. Period.

 

Just imagine yourself. Old… So old that it is impossible for you to imagine anything older than you. And you are surrounded by all the calendars you’ve lived. And in your hand you have your last calendar. And you realise that the next New Years party is, “Ow, tomorrow!”

 

What will you do?

Where will you go?

If you know

That there is no tomorrow..?

 

We keep the calendar dangling on wall most of the time. Except the times we choose to take it off and flip it over. And the sad part is we just flip it over 11 times a year. We don’t consider just looking at the dates that have passed. We don’t take a pause to count the moments, which made us laugh, made us cry… Which made us sad, or dance with joy.

 

Some things are just not valued when we have time. We keep thinking that we’ll have another chance at them in future. But the future falls short for so many chances. You tell me, won’t you lay your head on your mother’s lap… Won’t you audition for that dance show in college… Won’t you order the dessert first? If you know that there is no tomorrow?

 

If we treat every relationship as if it were the last, we pour everything to make it work. So I’ve thought of not attending the Masquerade Party this year. It seems like I want to skip the main course and have what actually counts. The dessert.

#1 James Cameron – Aliens

The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.

~ Jessica Lange

Let’s hope that my honesty is not confused with stupidity. I wanted to watch Ridley Scott’s Alien, which supposedly revolutionized visual effects in film. Call it my luck or misfortune that I ended up watching its sequel first. So I am laughing and crying at m situation at the same time.

The Alien film franchise started with Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979), James Cameron’s Aliens (1986), Paul Anderson’s Alien vs. Predator (2004) followed and the latest Prometheus (2012) by Ridley Scott is a prequel to the original Alien. And just the way technology advanced, content suffered.

*Talking about the film Aliens, the film is equipped with an uncomplicated three-act structure. The protagonist, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) confirms with Burke “You’re going out there to destroy them, right? All right, I’m in.” and that marks the second act. Similarly, when Ridley decides to go back and get Newt all alone, is where the climax starts shaping.

I would not talk about the visual effects, considering the film was out in 1986, much after the revolution and two years after Cameron’s The Terminator was released. I did not find them too compelling.

This film can be expressed in a flowchart format excellently. Ripley has two options, whether to accept or abort the offer by Burkes. Ripley has a premonition about the android being a traitor, either she is right or she is wrong. Burkes is going to successfully get the alien specimen through the ICC or not. Numerous conflicts form a thrilling composite.

On a negative note, the film started off with absolutely fabulous editing. The tempo of each sequence teased me with the sight of an alien and ended in an anticlimax, which indeed kept me at the edge of my seat. As soon as their mission begins, till the aliens actually show up, I felt the film was a bit draggy and monotonous.

About halfway across the film, I noticed one factor, which gives the film a great advantage over many others in the same genre. A year ago, when I was studying Cinema as a subject in college, I comprehended that any type of cinema, whether it is a neo-realistic cinema or an expressionist one, needs interesting characters. Interesting characters make cinema, an illusion seem convincing and gripping.

Aliens is equipped with extremely well orchestrated characters. We have damsel in distress, Newt; hero, Ripley; lover, corporal Hicks; Judas, Burkes; virago, Vasquez and most importantly, Ripley’s emotional aspect – Ripley as a mother!

I do not know if the makers thought of it while making it or it is a personal opinion about the film. The aliens breed by impregnating. The parasite uses a human body to produce an alien. The climax is a faceoff between the alien mother and Ripley, both trying to protect their offspring. In which Ripley succeeds.

Whether it is Titanic or the Terminator or in this case, Aliens, Cameron always reaches out to a superficial subject and weaves it excellently with human emotions.

*After watching The Terminator again, I realized that I was wrong in judging the visual effects of the film. Visual effects of Aliens are far more superior than The Terminator. Although I couldn’t help but compare the futuristic earth with the Colony in Aliens. Did you use the same set for both Mr. Cameron?

#3 Write up – Halfway across (2013)

For the first time in a long while, we had the windows of our van open; an unlikely gesture for a bunch of tourists in Kolkata these days. But the setting Sun on Howrah Bridge never fails to allure travellers in the search of the picturesque. Clouds owned the sky but the encroaching Sun shined amongst them; made his mark. As I turned my head forward; I saw the slowly illuminating, unexplored world. There I had new buildings, new sights, new adventures and countless possibilities emerging whole-heartedly. Then I looked back and watched my known realm drift away. And then an old question popped up-

“When on a bridge, when exactly do you step out of one end and enter another… When do you leave the old world behind and move into the new one… At what point do you cross over… When, exactly?”

In Mumbai there are bridges connecting the east and the west sides of a precinct. As a kid, while coming back home I used to count the steps while climbing up and coming down. I knew the bridge so well that I would stop at one particular point and I knew, that after this point, I would cross over. I used to stand with my legs wide apart and claim of being at two places at once. I had the best of both the worlds.

But not all bridges have traffic flowing from both ends. Oh, not the conventional ones, but others. The smoke comes out of a cigarette, but never goes back in. When a vase breaks, the pieces cannot be put back together. A butterfly cannot go back in the cocoon it came from. And that’s what makes the halfway point so important! There is no turning back! The point when you are just about to cross over but you haven’t, yet.

Imagine the moment, 98degree Celsius, when water prepares itself to sublime into vapour, but it has not changed yet. There is so admirable vibrancy over there, so much energy, so much potential. One simply cannot understand such an event unless he experiences it. And that’s why I do understand it,right now!

Here I stand, exactly halfway across the bridge, when I’m about to enter the final year of schooling and I know that my education has merely begun; I feel like a bird, standing on the ledge and about to take his very first flight. I am as scared as a kid would be when he had to leave his world, his mother, behind to enter a new world. I am as excited as butterfly to break free from the cocoon.

I am going to keep the windows open now; it is about to dawn on me. As I turn my head forward, I see a slowly illuminating, unexplored world. There I have new buildings, new sights, new adventures and countless possibilities emerging whole-heartedly. When I look back I have my past, slowly drifting away. I am a boy on the start of a long journey whose conclusions are uncertain.  And I hope.., I can make it across the bridge.